This is the second session of the Spring/Summer webinar series, presented by the Wildlife Viewing and Nature Tourism Working Group, part of The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
This is a free webinar series, open to anyone interested in learning more about the selected topics. Please forward this email or share the below webinar links with any interested colleagues or partners that may want to attend.
May 12, 2021 – 2-3 p.m. EDTRestore the Wild – A call to action and an invitation to join the Virginia Wildlife Resources’ conservation mission.
Strengthening agency capacity to conserve and manage wildlife resources is a primary objective for the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (VDWR). With initiatives to recruit, retain and reactivate (R3) participants in outdoor recreation, VDWR has committed to engage with new stakeholders in new ways.
Virginia launched a membership initiative in 2019, called Restore the Wild. The membership aims to broaden support for VDWR through a targeted funding mechanism with associated branding that is relevant to wildlife viewers and outdoor enthusiasts, fosters relationship-building and provides a call-to-action. The Restore the Wild initiative has evolved in its first few years to include additional support options including a trail run, art competition, donation options, and volunteer opportunities.
Wildlife viewers, birdwatchers and other wildlife enthusiasts are key to growing constituencies for funding and otherwise supporting wildlife conservation. However, more actively engaging with and prioritizing the needs of these stakeholders challenges the norm of the typical license centric funding model. Effectively engaging with wildlife viewers will require creative thinking, new skills and working directly with new groups to better understand their needs and desires.
We will share the details of the Restore the Wild membership initiative, how it was developed, its success thus far and its next steps.
Webinar Link: Restore the Wild
Presented by Brian Moyer, Tim Tassitano and Jessica Ruthenberg
Brian Moyer, Tim Tassitano, and Jessica Ruthenberg will share their experience developing, managing, and promoting the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources’ Restore the Wild Program.
Brian currently serves as the Assistant Director of Outreach. Prior to this position, he served as the Recreation Program Manager, where he was responsible for managing Virginia’s watchable wildlife program, public access opportunities for hunting and fishing, Virginia’s statewide Birding and Wildlife Trail, and outreach efforts to promote hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing.
Tim currently serves as the Marketing Director, where he handles the agency’s strategic online initiatives and plays a major role in enhancing brand awareness within the digital space, working with partners, and reaching new audiences for the agency.
Jessica is a Watchable Wildlife Biologist, where she promotes and provides opportunities for wildlife viewing, builds relationships with the wildlife viewing community, develops and implements R3 strategies for wildlife viewing, and fosters public appreciation for wildlife and habitat.